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About HKCFP > President’s Message

April 2020

As Hong Kong is fighting hard during the ongoing COVID-19 battle, the number of patients confirmed with the diagnosis has soared up to approaching 900 in the recent weeks. This is pushing the manpower, the hospital services and the health care system to their limits. Understandably, the government is trying her best to identify various means to increase the necessary supplies, quarantine, diagnostic, isolation, treatment and related capacities quickly. In parallel, it can be reasonably anticipated that there would be a building up of patients being returned to the community after hospitalisation and patients with chronic diseases unable to attend the usual followup appointments in the public sector due to various situational reasons. This group of patients need to be cared for in the community setting for their physical, social, and psychological aspects, especially during the current outbreak situations, to relieve the already heavily burdened hospital services. They could be encouraged to contact their family doctors in the community for various health care needs because family doctors have already built up rapport with the patients and hence are in the best position to continue looking after the patients in the community.

I would say this again that our family doctors are one of the major community stakeholders in the fight against disease outbreaks. We are ready and most willing to help out and play our parts in the current crisis! Let the family doctors in the community join hands with the government and the society as a whole to combat against COVID-19!

In addition to individuals practising strict hand hygiene and wearing surgical mask, one of the other important elements inreducing the infection risks is social distancing. To that end, our College Council has made a collation of photos of Council members in March and put it on our College website and Facebook, appealing to the public to practise social distancing, with the slogan "I stay at work for you, you stay at home for us”. We truly hope that everyone in Hong Kong can work together to get the situations under control as soon as possible, for the sake of all of us.

As more information is emerging from around the globe on the SARS-CoV-2, since January 2020, there is a collection of links to relevant literature in our College website (http://www.hkcfp.org.hk/pages_10_2095.html) which is being constantly updated, in case you had not visited our website recently. The link to the WHO website will lead you to rich information on various aspects of SARS-CoV-2. For example, the WHO has issued their first practical manual on setting up and managing a severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) treatment centre and a SARI screening facility in health-care facilities. (https://www.who.int/publications-detail/severeacute-respiratory-infections-treatment-centre)

Due to the current pandemic, the WONCA APR Conference in New Zealand originally scheduled in April this year has been postponed to 5 – 7 November, 2020. Let us continue to work together and overcome the crisis in time for more international learning and professional development opportunities towards the end of the year. In the meantime, our College secretariat is arranging additional technical support for members who may be less familiar with using online platform for CME purposes and hence may encounter difficulties in joining our College’s new online CME activities in the interim (http://www.hkcfp.org.hk/pages_5_2097.html). Hopefully, the technical assistance could be helpful to members in need. Further details will be announced soon.

According to previous experience in fighting against major disease outbreaks similar to the current one, our Family Medicine trainees may volunteer or are requested to help performing duties to support other specialties. Our College, together with the other Colleges of Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, has come to a general agreement that a deployment to support other specialties for upto 4 weeks would be regarded as recognised training. Detailed announcement is on its way.

A happy Doctors' Day to everyone! In case you had not realised, the Doctors’ Day or National Doctors’ Day is a day designated to celebrate and recognise the contributions of doctors towards the healthcare of individuals and societies. The date does vary from country to country though, e.g. 30th March in Australia and United States, 3rd March in Canada. Doctors are known to be hard workers with strong resilience. In the United States, an average doctor is reported to work 1.5 times more years than the average American does. Doctors work well under pressure, are industrious, and are attentive towards the patients. These unique qualities are of upmost importance in the current COVID-19 crisis. Please do join me to give a great round of applause to all doctors serving the communities and keep up with your excellent work!

Dr. David V K CHAO

President

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